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Herbal Essences #EmbraceChange

October 17, 2017

 

There are so many things about being an adult that are both scary and beautiful. Some just scary, some just beautiful, but many end up being both at the same time. I just turned 30, and believe me, it took me some time to accept the changes that come with growing up. And especially the hard ones. The ones I fought hardest to get through are the ones I find are my luckiest experiences to go through. That’s exactly what Herbal Essences‘ latest campaign is all about. Embracing change and letting life in. 

When I was younger, I was a heavy dreamer with fantastic visions of the future that changed almost every second. And while in my dreams I was invincible and confident and spoke my mind, I found that when faced with reality, I held myself back. I wasn’t exactly the person I was in my head when I was asleep at night or daydreamed. There was something there that kept me from putting myself out there because I was afraid of failure, or unwanted attention or maybe something else that I still cannot explain today. All I knew was that my confidence was lacking, but I knew deep down, that I wanted more and that I was someday going to get to where I needed to be. For me, it just took some time.

Growing up I experienced bullying from a few male classmates. My features, my height, my ethnic background, these all became things that I was ashamed of about myself. My hair, long and straight, was always my reliable shield. Something to hide behind when I didn’t want to be seen. Or at least, it made me feel like I couldn’t be seen. I wanted to keep my hair long to hide the fact that I had scoliosis, But even then, my hair wasn’t something I loved, even though it helped protect me. I wished it was blonder. Wavier. Like what I saw on TV. 

It took me a while to come to terms with my body. It took years of comparing myself too much and scrutinizing my imperfections too harshly, before I could finally step outside of the perspective I thought others around me had of me. Once I stepped out of that, I slowly became more and more free. It was like a drawn out personal training session that I had to give myself on the daily. Creating my blog, expressing my feelings, showing my face to the world and being proud of what it represented . . . all of these things helped me. And finally, the hair on my head became less of a shield each day. Instead, it was just simply something that was a part of me that I appreciated purely for the fact that it was mine. Long and somewhere in the middle behind straight and slightly wavy. Always a little messy. Split ends here and there. Beautiful to some, maybe even plain to others, but to me it was just mine and that is all I needed to appreciate it. It felt good to no longer need a shield of hair to hide behind. It was my first step towards being courageous. I’m still on that path, and getting closer and closer every single day. Now you tell me . . . how do you #EmbraceChange and #LetLifeIn? What changes have you been through that made you who you are today? And how open are you what is to come next, especially when you have no idea what that may be? Take part and spread the word; share this VIDEO

** Sponsored by Herbal Essences and POPSUGAR

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No Such Thing As Could Not

August 21, 2017


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& Other Stories dress and jacket
Pedro Garcia shoes
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I’m giggling a little bit looking at these photos. My face half covered with hair in most. Something I was prone to doing quite a lot as a kid and teenager. My mom used to call me the “one-eyed-jack” because I always had my hair in my face, partially obstructing my vision. No I wasn’t really an “emo” kid. Maybe just sometimes. Mostly, it had to do with my own insecurity issues. I felt safer when I could hide behind my hair. Hidden from the world in a way, whenever I felt like I wanted to. It was a security blanket for me at the time. A little introvert’s nest. It had a lot to do with my shyness when I was young, and my insecurity with the way I looked. I always stood out for being too tall, too skinny and too ethnically ambiguous. Most days my nose felt too big, my face too chubby, my teeth too obnoxiously standout in braces, my breasts too flat, my knees too gangly. I have distinct memories of one terrorizing male classmate in elementary school who wouldn’t go a day without reminding me of the way I looked. I would be the butt of his jokes. To him, ethnic background was a problem. I was funny because I looked Asian. Even though I knew he was wrong for saying the things he said to me, in front of classmates even, I couldn’t help but feel hurt and embarrassed and wishing I was someone else.

At a young age, I experienced racism and bullying. A lot of my feelings back then were kept hidden inside of me because of my shyness. But today, it’s a different story. Today those experiences still stick with me, but instead of blocking them out, I am grateful that because of them I learned to never act or feel the way that my one classmate did to me all those years ago. Instead, my hurt of the past turned into an understanding greater and far more beyond just myself. It’s an understanding that has allowed me to make progress one day at a time towards being a better human being . . . without mind to my race, my gender and whatever it is that makes me . . . me. Whether others like it or not? That should never be question. Sadly today, that question still has a mixed grey cloud hanging over it. The world has a lot of work to do when it comes to accepting what is different on the inside and outside, and I am so chilled by what I see on the news everyday about the narrow minded, twisted hate many are trying to spread. It blows my mind. 

As for me in this moment, there is still so much of that little girl in the classroom who would get made fun of by the boys because I was tall and actually good at playing basketball. The issue was that I was not just good, but that I was better than they were. And so the only other alternative they had to playing and losing against me, was to be make fun of what I could do, as opposed to what I could not do. There is so much of this happening today in our world on a much greater level, but it all comes back to the basketball court. Really, if you think about it, it’s all about how you change the game. Spreading that game changer is the biggest positive influence there is. And that is why I share with you guys my story. I share my story knowing that insecurities still lie within me, and especially so with being so public with my life online. Even my darker than usual hair right now is taking some getting used to, and can put me in a self-conscious mood on a whim while at other times I love it. I still hide behind my hair at times and my inner introvert is always there waiting to dive into a writing session for hours. But then there are days I feel like I can wear a bright red denim jacket and accomplish anything. But these are the things that make me me. The greatest accomplishment I’ve ever made was to let go of what others said I could or could not do, could or could not say, could or could not be, or could or could not love.  

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Another Twist on the Suit

August 8, 2017


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Old Navy blazer
Zara bandeau
Ace & Jig pants
Dear Frances mules
Bally purse
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And my unconventional suit obsession continues. This blazer in particular being the culprit of it all. In this particular situation, these bohemian meets pajama-esque pants take to the London city streets in a whole new way. A simple belt, sexy bandeau (thanks Zara sale!) and boyish blazer. Ta-daaahhhh. How is it that as time goes one, I keep leaning towards the pants in most situations? Even when its something fancy I have to go to, I prefer to wear the pants. haha. That is such a political thing now. Women wearing the pants. It goes much farther than a fashion statement. It’s about equality. It’s about independent women. It’s about a woman who can do a job just as good as, or even better than, a man. Even when it comes to relationships in this modern day and age, women are less and less afraid of being the one wearing the pants in the relationship. I sure as heck want my man to wear pants, but I also don’t mind being the one to wear them at the same time . . . it’s all about that balance. It’s all about that freedom to say and do what we mean. In the 80’s, women were all about the shoulder pads and the loud eyeshadow and the power suits and the big hair . . . they were really coming onto something great. A style and look that today has been reinterpreted physically (much easier on the eyes now), but containing of a foundation that still rings true . . . the fact that women cannot be ignored. Today we don’t need as much eye makeup thank goodness to obtain that, but we still have a lot of work to do. I mean look at who is wearing the presidential pants of our country. But we can all start by manning up and wear the pants in our own ways today. The world needs as much confidence and strength as we can right now to make it to where we got to be. Like I just said, the pants are much less about a fashion statement. It’s more about the strides they allow us to take to get to where we all need and deserve to be. But looking good on our way there, well that definitely still counts in my book.

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A Big Bold Blue

July 10, 2017


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Heidi Merrick dress
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Go bold or go home. What cliché motto. But at the same time, what a motto that rings so true and so universally. From fashion and word choice, to relationships and career path, what’s the point if you are too scared to get your feet fully wet. Or in this case, your feet deep in green grass. I’ve learned this time and time again, everything is worth the chance to go all in, or go all out. It took me a long time to learn that there’s no such thing as in-between. 

When I was a kid, the idea of going bold was an escapism tool for me. A young girl growing up in the suburbs, where it seemed like all you could do was take was one path at a time, and that didn’t ensure that you could get that far with it. I had dreams that seemed bigger than the universe, and they are what kept me going. Dreams so extreme, so outrageous, that sometimes I would have to pinch myself to snap out of it. Snap myself back to the reality that my peers around me always reminded me of. But I never wanted to be the bland type. Not in reality or in my dreams. And let me tell you, reality definitely bites. I learned that it bit the most and the hardest when others would flatten my dreams, sometimes one word would break me down, or my own fear would kick in. That’s what I hated the most, and that’s when I hated myself the most. I was too scared to go all in. To be bold. I’d think to myself that maybe it was safer to step back, be safe, not dream so much. Or at least, keep my dreams at bay in a pocket only accessed for a few hours at night, to be forgotten during the day. But what’s exciting about that? Yes, reality definitely bites, but it doesn’t always have to.

As I got older and came to understand myself and the world around me more, my confidence helped me gain a hold on my dreams more. Those bold flashes that seemed so real, but almost too good to be true to ever happen in real life. But why not? I would always start to remind myself that? Why not. And I will never know if I don’t try at least. That’s the least I could do. I deserved that AT LEAST. 

So do it. Dance on the sidewalk because the song you are listening to is making your body feel something. Quit your job and do something that makes you truly happy for once. Fall in love with someone hundreds of miles away, because your heart can’t help but be in it even from a distance. Close your eyes, choose a place on the map, and go there the next day. Maybe you’ll look back, maybe you won’t. Cut all your hair off. Or grow it extra long. Say exactly what’s on your mind for once. You’ll feel the weight lift like that. Open yourself up to someone new. They might just understand you more than you understand yourself. Start a blog and lay your heart out for the world to see if it wanted to. 

Sometimes the only one thing holding us back, is the fact that there may be no going back. But you know what, that might just be the path you never knew you were ready for up until that moment that you just GO. Even just one step towards that means one huge milestone.

Happy Monday sweet peeps. This post was inspired by this Heidi Merrick dress. A dress in the biggest, boldest, bluest blue. 

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